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Ask any guy "What's the greatest basketball film?" and he'll likely say Hoop Dreams or Hoosiers. Ask the same question with "football" instead and you might get Any Given Sunday, Jerry Maguire or Friday Night Lights. Keep it up but insert "soccer" and you might get Bend It Like Beckham. Push your luck with "hockey" and you'll just draw a blank. (Does anyone honestly think Slap Shot is great?) Now ask this same sportsfan to pick the best baseball movie. Suddenly, you'll get a long list.
There have been so many great films inspired by America's favorite pastime that you'd almost think that the American and National Leagues were in cahoots with the studios. Whether its major league (Cobb) or minor league (Bull Durham), the Negro League (The Jackie Robinson Story) or the Female Professional League (A League of Their Own), this sport has repeatedly delivered hits that have pleased audiences and critics in equal measure. Even little league has captured the mainstream's fancy with The Bad News Bears. Tonight March 24, AMC celebrates Bull Durham's 20th anniversary with an airing of the classic film at 8PM | 7C. For a primer on other winning baseball movies, check out amctv.com's gallery of the ten classic crowdpleasers.